The government of Uganda has described as untrue reports making rounds on social media claiming that Kampala is habouring and training elements hostile to Ethiopia.
The reports widely circulating online allege that Uganda closely works with allies of the terrorist designated group TPLF, acting as their base as well as funding their illegal activities against the legitimate government of Ethiopia.
The reports allege that several senior military officers, Ministers, diplomats and other top government officials were assigned to operate with the Tigrian forces, each assigned different tasks including being chief coordinator of movements of logistics and finances for the Tigrian Rebel Forces.
Others are allegedly tasked with intelligence gathering, Coordination of the Uganda –Tigrian Rebel Forces Programs in South Sudan and training of the fighters.
They further allege that Uganda has several training camps of the Tigrian rebel forces including some in Kampala at Kakiri Barracks, Karamoja at Moroto Barracks, Masaka at Kasajagirwa Military Barracks and Nakasongola.
The alleged training of TPLF fighters in Uganda, according to the reports, is supported by the United States, Egypt, and South Sudan.
But on Friday during the meeting between the Chief of Ethiopian Defense Forces, Field Marshal Birhanu Jula and Uganda’s Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs, Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, the latter reiterated that anti-Ethiopian elements will never operate in Uganda.
Ssempijja reaffirmed that Uganda considers Ethiopia as the mother of Africa and that any anti-Ethiopian force will never be allowed to operate in Uganda.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the status of signed agreements between Ethiopia and Uganda in the Defense Sector.
The discussion noted the need to renew the agreements between the two countries, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia was assigned to do the follow-ups.
Ethiopia and Uganda have been cooperating in various peace processes in the region.
Last year in August, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed held talks with President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Abiy was in Uganda for a one day working visit at the invitation of President Museveni.
After the meeting, President Museveni said they agreed to walk together on strengthening matters of common interest.
Museveni and Abiy continue to enjoy a cordial relationship. On Heroes’ day in Uganda in 2018, Abiy who was a special guest of President Museveni, was honoured with the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa medal, Uganda’s highest accolade given to a Head of State at a special National Heroes Day by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
The award was in recognition of Abiy’s immense contribution to the independence struggle of Africa.
In return, Abiy gave Museveni a colourful Ethiopian made white jacket with black and red stripes, which are the traditional colours of the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
Addressing crowds gathered for the occasion, Dr Abiy noted “Our relationship is built on a strong foundation of understanding and mutual respect not to interfere with each others internal affairs.”
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), designated a terrorist group
TPLF was among the many armed groups that fought the Federal Military Rule in the 1970s and 1980s, a communist in Ideology and establishing an Independent Tigray was its ultimate goal.
Later in the downfall of the Military regime, TPLF in coalition with other Ethnic based parties formed EPRDF and ruled the country for 27 years. Under TPLF, millions of Ethiopians had suffered widespread political repressions, economic as well as social marginalization for twenty seven years.
However, after waves of popular protests that swept across the country and internal struggles within the ruling party for almost two years, Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018.
Soon after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office deep political and economic reforms were implemented in in Ethiopia in order to overcome the multi-faceted and complex socio-political and economic problems of the country.
Among the others, the Government of Ethiopia released political prisoners and journalists and invited exiled political parties and armed groups to take part in peaceful political contestations.
The new leadership did not take any retributive measures against TPLF as a vengeful punishment as some people continue to wrongly claim.
However, angered by the unexpected loss of the disproportionate influence and undue privilege they enjoyed, powerful figures within the TPLF led the clique into self-isolation and a senseless blame game.
They heavily involved in planning and implementing violence and conflicts seen in the country since the coming into power of PM Abiy Ahmed.
TPLF shown the world that if it does not maintain its grip on power entirely, it is ready to disturb the country at the cost of millions of innocent lives.
In fact, TPLF officials were boastfully telling their foreign sympathizers that they would go for a war if a blockage is placed on their way to maintaining hegemony.
The country’s parliament would later designate the group as a terrorist organization.
Prime Minister Abiy severally expressed his deepest desire that the government did not want to hear a single gun-shot in Tigray, and indeed this desire had captured the whole conviction of the Ethiopian government until everything had to change on Wednesday, 4th of November 2020 when the armed group attacked military bases.
Government said the unfortunate political development and conflict in Tigray was not the interest of their interest, if it was not obligated by the blatant attack of TPLF on the National Defence force of the country.
TPLF’s intention was to break the chain of command of the Defense force and acquire over 80% of the National Army’s possession, which was in the region, and change the leadership of the country forcefully. Thanks to the swift response and effective law enforcement and primary support of the Public, the danger posed by TPLF.
Ethiopian authorities made several efforts to restore normalcy including declaring a Unilateral Ceasefire and removing the National Army from the whole of Tigray in June as well as providing support to citizens affected by the operation in the region.
But these efforts were hampered by the TPLF fighters who continued to attack and kill civilians, recruit children into fighting in not only Tigray but also extending to neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions where they caused death, suffering and displacement of thousands of people,
They also blocked and attacked vehicles taking humanitarian support the affected people.